The Malleus Maleficarumby Montague Summers, Paul Tice (Foreword by)
This is one of the most notorious books in history. Thousands of innocent people, especially women, lost their lives at the expense of this book. It was first published around 1489, shortly after the invention of the printing press and five years after a papal bull was issued legitimizing the belief in witches. It went through at least 30 printings and became the handbook for witch hunters, both Protestant and Catholic. It gave permission to bishops and secular authorities to prosecute witches if there were no representatives from the Inquisition around, giving full directions. After the witch trials swept through Europe, some villages were left with as few as two women. So if this book is so bad, why should one read it? Because there are lessons to be learned, both psychologically and historically, and there is an ignorance to overcome. This is a fascinating study of mass hysteria, greed, and delusional behavior.
- Book Tree, The
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.76(d)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
I picked up the MALLEUS MALEFICARUM while still an undergrad... I thought it would be a laugher... Ignorant 15th century priests looking for witches and such. What a silly thing, incomprehensible to the modern mind. This book is NOT a laugher! Quite to the contrary, it gave me my first glimpse into the ironclad perfection of the intellectual medieval mind... Especially the one bent on 'evil'. Kramer and Sprenger weave an intricate and sophisticated web around the reader. This book actually has the power to possess, so tread carefully and don't get 'into it' too much. Their explanation of the "sin against the Holy Ghost" contained in Part One; Question V is certainly worth the price of the book. For me it was one of those formative reads that actually changed my way of thinking; not so much about witches as about that mysterious medieval mind... PLEASE NOTE: Malleus is not an easy read... plan on having a dictionary near by...